Friday, January 12, 2018




Saturday, January 6, 2018


It started out as a gorgeous, but frigid day.
No more solar gain but the tarp went up and the salamander had fuel so
Ryan could work. I don't know how comfortable he was. He is, however, hardy and strong. We are grateful
I wish I had been present for this. I would have put a pair of red pumps under that chimney.
 It's not you, it's the photo.
Better focus.

Friday, December 29, 2017


We are still in the clutches of this deep freeze. Yesterday morning the wind chill was 30 below and while the guys had planned to work on the chimney from the roof down. They changed their minds when they got here.  Yep. I was relieved. 

Flue blocks are big and heavy as is the flue itself.  Our "attic" is cold and there isn't a lot of room between the roof joists. I don't know how but they managed to set those blocks and the flue to within 6 inches of the roof. (You can't see the other person but trust me he is there. ) There is no choice now.  To finish placing the other flue blocks they have to get on the roof and drop them in from above.    

Today it was still sub-zero and windy again.   Not a day to be cutting a hole in the roof and trying to set block.  Instead, they finished up the pedestal and the hearth. 
It's a beautiful thing. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Through the ceiling

 It happened. The chimney is through the ceiling. Tomorrow they plan to take it through the "attic" and up through the roof.

I don't know.  NOAA predicts the high at MINUS SEVEN.  They can't really work from below. That means that they have to work up on the roof.  No real sun either. That's what saved us today. Solar gain.

I hid out in the basement sewing most of the day. That's my plan for tomorrow. Otherwise I will be fretting about frost bite and wind chill.

Monday, December 25, 2017

It all started

so innocently last spring. There was no heat in the new house. The gas line from the underground tank to the furnace leaked. The gas company would not unlock the tank until we fixed that leak. 

So we tried to stay warm with the fireplace.
That didn't work. It burned the fuel we provided; some actual hardwood firewood and the gawdawful late century wooden towel bars and other fixtures from the bathroom.  The heat went right up the chimney.
 Our Hearthstone Heritage wood stove was our primary source of heat in the old house.  We barely burned fuel oil.  According to the specs, it can heat up to 1900 square feet. Our old house was 1800 square feet with original, single pane windows and DRAFTY.
 The new house is super well insulated and 1200 square feet.  We are pretty sure the Heritage is too big for the house.  Originally we thought we would leave it behind. In the end, I just couldn't do that. So we brought it with us.

Steven knows people who know masons. Nigh onto two months ago, Steven called Ryan who is renowned in these parts. He advised that he would be in touch. Two weeks ago he called.  About to start a job in the "money is different ski resort town" near us after the first of the year, he had a window of two weeks and he could work our job in. We said OK.

Demo began the next day.
Steven pried the bead board off carefully. I removed the nails. We will use the materials for something else, somewhere. We were touched by the message left by the builders. Ev and Jollie's son built that fireplace for them shortly after they moved in thirty years ago. I am sure they loved it. 
Were it more efficient, we would have loved it, too.

Before we started the project, I asked Steven why we were building a masonry (not masonary; no such word) chimney instead of just running stove pipe up through the roof. 

After we got to this point in the demolition, I understood why.   

Steven and I managed to get the stove off of the hearth. We even somehow managed to loosen the stove pipe. There was no way we were going to be able to move it more than that. 

Luckily Ryan and his tender had to come by to receive the first load of materials.

So they helped (did it themselves using an appliance dolly) move the old fireplace on out. 

Don't worry, he's a professional. 

I have no photos of the headers and re-framing. He's a professional and I was not around when he finished that up. 

It might not be evident from the photos, but the living room is a mess. There are tarps on the floor and plywood where there aren't tarps. There is dust everywhere. The furniture is pushed against the walls. We should be wearing hardhats, seriously.   I don't mind at all, though. This will be a beautiful thing. A very beautiful thing. 

That piece of insulation is covering a big hole in the ceiling. Steven cut through the sheet rock on Saturday when it was above freezing.  The chimney will pass through the roof and Ryan will build a little tent on top of the house so he can work. Projected high Thursday is 9 below. I don't know how he will do it.